Sunday, April 13, 2008

Old lucky paca?

So, the aftermath of the burglary continues. Today, a couple of N's co-workers, one of whom's name importantly starts with A, knocks on the door while I am at school.

Someone's boyfriend was going through a dumpster in Waianae, which is a town on the far western (leeward) shore of Oahu, about 30 miles away, looking for recyclables and found a garbage bag full of stuff. Stuff including N's cell phone, driver's license, and passport. N had just gotten the passport because she might be traveling abroad for work soon (Guam). The person then called the first name in N's cell and reported that she had found this stuff. The co-workers then couldn't call N, since the cell phone was in Waianae and we had disconnected it on Saturday, so they came by in person.

After speaking with the Waikiki police, we ended up driving to Waianae to meet them and pick up those few things. Credit cards were gone and a couple smoothie cards, but the other cards and IDs were there. The couple who returned this stuff live in a van. She was carrying 3-month old as she spoke with us.

There were a few things that were not ours in the bag as well, so we called the Waianae police to come out, gave them the not-ours stuff, and gave our third police report in 2 days. The other items included things like a hotel room key, so to all appearances someone living in Wainae is canvassing Waikiki, a conclusion which probably describes half of the petty theft cases on Oahu. (At least the Waikiki part.) There seems to be about a 95% chance that our stuff was returned by an honorable young family living in a van, but we left the police there with them, and I assume they will check out the 5% possibility.

Assuming the story is true, it's amazing luck. Someone 30 miles away just happens to be going through a dumpster, notices some stuff, and then takes the time to contact us? All within 48 hours of the crime?! With the return of the IDs, my laptop has become the biggest casualty of the burglary.

Time will tell.


fairyhedgehog said...

I don't know what to make of this. I'm really glad you got the stuff back - cards and IDs are such a nuisance. It is weird, though, and I can't help thinking about the 5%.

I wish your laptop would turn up in the same way but life isn't like that. Although what's already happened isn't exactly normal life, is it?

writtenwyrdd said...

Glad you were able to get this stuff back! It's better to be safe than sorry and cancel the cards anyhow and put out a fraud alert. If the passport has not yet been reported stolen, that's one less aggravating hassle to deal with. However, I'd check to make sure no pages are missing or it is not defaced in any fashion. You don't want the hassles at the border from that sort of thing.

Sammy Jankis said...

Wow, that is bizarre. I agree with writtenwyrdd though, go ahead and take fraud protection measures anyway (see my reply to your original stolen post). But, you know, this really is better than the alternative. Replacing valuables sucks, but going through the process of replacing stolen government IDs is a whole other level of suck.

Precie said...

I completely understand your wariness. As written and sammy have said, I think it's smart to cancel the cards and confirm the IDs and make sure all your financial instititions are warned about the potential for identity theft. You should probably also request credit reports periodically to make sure nothing suspicious pops up.

I'm really hoping the police find it's the 95% situation. Really really hoping.

pjd said...

Maybe I just have more faith in human nature, but I'm thinking your 95% estimate should be more like 99.9%.

My wife's purse got stolen a few years ago when someone smashed in the window of my truck. The next day someone at a restaurant in a town 10 miles away called us to say they had her wallet (not the purse, only the wallet). Apparently two other wallets were discovered in the same dumpster at the same time.

You do get suspicious, of course, when you collect your things that you're meeting the criminal face-to-face. But I don't think that happens too much in real life.

ChristineEldin said...

This is weird. But sounds like it could be true. They wanted the cash, and the laptop. Thank God you don't have to worry about identity theft.

ChristineEldin said...

Oh, about dumpsters.

At our city house, I'd often drive our trash to the nearest dumpster. It's a long story. But suffice to say a few times after I discarded the trash, a few people would go over and start rummaging.
Very sad but very true.

bunnygirl said...

That's cool you got some of the stuff back. Something similar happened to a boyfriend of mine who had a leather jacket and checkbook stolen from a club. The items were found in a field and the person who found them called the phone number on the checks.

The most likely scenario is that the situation is just how it was presented-- decent folks found some stuff and did the decent thing.

Robin S. said...

I hope they were just nice and wanted to help you all out. That would be a nice thing to hold onto.

katze said...

You've already gotten excellent advice from the others, so I just want to express my sympathy for what you're all going through, as well as to say that I'm very glad that no one was hurt!!